A building for the future | Sunday Observer

A building for the future

In a time when young people of the country are highlighted for all the wrong reasons, it is refreshing to hear about a group of youngsters who are making beautiful changes in the lives of little children. The students of the Advanced Diploma 18.1 batch of NIBM Kandy conducted a CSR project where they organised the construction of an open air classroom for the Dunumawa Primary School in Dunumawa, Rideegama.

World Vision Lanka inspired the NIBM students to build a classroom for the disadvantaged students in the Dunumawa area. It was pointed out by the organisation that the primary school of the area needed assistance to successfully conduct educational activities. NIBM students had undertaken the project due to the many benefits an open air classroom would provide the children of the Dunumawa area and because it is a project which will not be undertaken by other organisations or persons. Financial support for the project was provided by the Advanced Diploma students of NIBM through conducting a cash collection among the students and by obtaining sponsorships from various organisations. A month of hard work and dedication was required by everyone involved to complete the project. Dunumawa Primary School was selected for the project since it is a school which is run through many hardships and the children who attend the school are primarily from families who are struggling with poverty. Students of the school face numerous difficulties which include arriving to school from far-away places and a journey through a badly damaged road which connects the school to the nearby village. The School was at the brink of closing down before it was revived by hard working authorities and teaching staff. Currently the school only has one building and there are five classrooms inside the building. Since the school has classes from year one to year five, it is difficult for teachers and students when all the classes are held in one hall and it is also difficult for the school authorities to conduct a parent teacher meeting.

In the past, the school building was badly damaged due to a land slide which happened inside the school premises. As a replacement for the badly damaged building, World Vision Lanka has built a new building for the school. Forty students including a six –year- old disabled student are taught with dedication by the five member teaching staff led by Principal H.G.Karunaratne. NIBM students decided it is important to build a classroom for the Dunumawa School since it only had one building to conduct all the classes and the open air classroom concept improves the connection that students maintain with nature. The classroom has a concrete table and a chair for the teacher while students have concrete tables and benches which can be effectively used to do handwork and environmental activities. Open air classrooms are the concept where classrooms are built without walls and in some instances without a roof in a space surrounded by nature. Traditionally classrooms were built based on the open air concept in order to provide students exposure to outside nature and fresh air along with good ventilation.

Students of NIBM 18.1 batch received the advice of Ms.Shashini Pananwala lecturer in charge of the module Business Ethics and Environment and World Vision Lanka's Development Facilitator Ronnie Wijesundara for the successful completion of the project. Construction of the open air classroom was carried out by the School Development Committee with the help of parents of the primary school students and the local community. In addition to the constructing of an open air classroom, stationary material and financial assistance collected from NIBM students and sponsors was donated to the primary school.